Decreased In Vitro Cellular Response to Tetanus Toxoid and Tuberculin in Patients using Topical Corticosteroids
Guoying Wang, Gerd Molander, Minna Koivuluhta, Harri Alenius, Antti Lauerma
Topical corticosteroids are the mainstay of treatment in inflammatory skin diseases. Corticosteroids penetrate human skin, especially when the penetration barrier is damaged. Whether long-term application of topical corticosteroids can lead to alteration of immune responses is not clear. We sought to examine the impact of topical corticosteroids on immune responses in patients using long-term topical corticosteroids. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell proliferation in response to tetanus toxoid and tuberculin stimulation was studied, and tetanus toxoid-specific antibodies were examined with ELISA. The results showed that, compared with the control group, the stimulation indices of patients' peripheral blood mononuclear cell to tetanus toxoid and tuberculin stimulations were lowered, which was especially significant in the tetanus toxoid group. No significant decrease was found in serum levels of tetanus toxoid-specific antibody. The results suggest that topical corticosteroids can suppress cell-mediated immune response in patients using long-term topical corticosteroids.